Q&A With The Beast Of Metal: Paul Di'Anno
Band Photo: Paul Di'anno (?)
Paul Di'Anno better known as 'The Beast' was the second vocalist for the now legendary Iron Maiden band from London, England, having spent from 1977 to 1981 with the lineup. The very first singer to actually record with the mighty Maiden, he is featured on the now legendary Soundhouse Tapes EP, as well as the first two albums, Iron Maiden and Killers. Despite the fact that once he separated from the lineup and Maiden, along with Bruce Dickinson, would climb to superstardom across the world, Di'Anno has always remained an intriguing and colorful figure in the heavy music scene, touring with his own solo bands into areas of the globe that no western band has ever ventured. He has now newly released in America an original collection of material entitled 'The Living Dead' on Cleopatra Records and is still igniting the fire on every stage he sets foot upon to this very day. This is a man who does not hide from his much storied past, leaving the clearest of indicators to all that there is still much to come from one of Rock N Roll's all time great lead vocalists.
Rocket: I wanted to play a game of 'word association' with you first, Paul. I basically will throw just a handful of them at you, be it a subject or person's name and you simply give me a one word response, okay? The first one is: early Iron Maiden, when you were in the band.
Rocket: The second: Steve Harris.
Rocket: The Third: The Muslim religion.
Rocket: The fourth: Brazil.
Rocket: The fifth: London, England.
Rocket: And finally, the sixth: George W Bush.
Rocket: I know you have just released a studio album of completely new material entitled 'The Living Dead'... which is your first in six years. Who produced this album?
Paul: I produced (and wrote) it myself with my Brazilian guitarist Paulo Turin, and it was truly a great experience making it.
Rocket: Besides Paulo, who were the other musicians that worked with you on this project?
Paul: Guitars: Chico Dehira, Javier Cuevas and Claudio Duliba. Bass guitars: Felipe Andreoli & Marcelo Bracalente. Drums: Aquiles Prieser & German Rodriguez.
Rocket: Can you please name a few of the songs you are the happiest with from the new disc?
Paul: The Living Dead, Dog Dead, Mad Man In The Attic & POV 2005.
Rocket: What is your one favorite Iron Maiden song to still sing on the stage? And briefly, tell me why.
Paul: Running Free, because it reminds me of the early innocent days of Maiden before the bullshit all took over.
Rocket: I know with your Muslim faith violence is something that you to try to help eliminate from the world, among other noble things like world hunger. And what brutal times we live in with the Iraq war raging on still, beheadings happening and car bombs blowing up innocents in Iraq. My question is coming I assure you. I assume - like myself - you were quite a street brawler in your formative years as a young adult. What is your general feeling now about all the violence you see going on in America and the rest of the world?
Paul: I feel as if the world has gone totally mad, and I think things will just get worse and worse until something terrible enough happens that will wake up the whole world somehow.
Rocket: So tell me how your working relationship with Cleopatra records has been going so far?
Paul: Really great indeed, as they were introduced to me via my manager as he has worked with them before and assured me that they really do care.
Rocket: Do you have a multi-album deal with them?
Paul: No it is just for the one album The Living Dead, and then I am a gun for hire so to speak.
Rocket: Of the current Iron Maiden lineup, are you still friendly with any of those guys?
Paul: Well, I don't actually ever bump into them, but yeah of course there will always be a bond between us, the originals.
Rocket: This question has been a major sore point with the underground metal world since it happened. I speak of the infamous Iron Maiden egging incident at last year's Ozzfest in Devore, California. First thing I want to ask you, how did that make you feel when you first heard about it? I mean, that's got to go down as one of the biggest black eye moments in metal's great history. Just a shameful thing that Sharon Osbourne pulled there, no matter who was on the stage trying to perform.
Paul: Well, I don't want to make any in depth comments, apart from saying: "What a load of Bollocks."
Rocket: I understand today you have a very close relationship with your son - despite being separated at times while he was growing up, correct? That has to make you proud.
Paul: Yeah, he is a great kid and has a really great and aggressive voice too.
Rocket: Back to the old Iron Maiden days, Paul. I know there must be a lot of good and a whole bunch of bad there for you. Can you share one moment in time where you knew that you were part of something very special, even when it seemed like things were at their most difficult for you? Maybe a fan that said something to you in person or in letter or something you witnessed with your own eyes.
Paul: For me it was when we actually got to appear on the television show called: Top Of The Pops, as I had watched it as a fan for many years, and then all of a sudden we were there ourselves.
Rocket: Who is the love of your life right now?
Paul: I don't have one currently.
Rocket: I know it has been confirmed that your band will be the headliner of the Metal Bash open-air festival that's going to take place July 29 at Schiesssportanlage in Neu Wulmstorf, Germany. Do you know what other bands will be performing on the bill?
Paul: I have no idea.
Rocket: Let me ask you, what is the one bit of advice you'd give any talented vocalist starting out in the music game that you wish you had known from the very start yourself?
Paul: It's fucking difficult as hell, and be prepared to keep trying for many years, and remember that only the fit survive.
Rocket: Listen, I thank you so much for taking out time with me on this. Go ahead and give a shout out to your biggest supporters over the years, Paul. And best of luck!
Paul: For all the Fuckers who have supported me for so long...thank you, Nutcases!
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